1. (orig. US) a problem, a cause of anxiety, a worry.
|Hooch! 115: There’s too many headaches in that.|
|Country Preacher 77: The new rectory was both beautiful and expensive, but it proved to be a great headache. It was more pretentious than my salary warranted.|
|Indiscreet Guide to Soho 57: The £5,000 a year executive and the smaller-income renter have plenty of headaches.|
|Caddie 240: I began to have fewer headaches about money.|
|Pimp 96: I won’t give you any headaches.|
|Riordans 93: Slurry disposal actually. It’s a fierce headache.|
|Wiseguy (2001) 122: He said I was making stuff up and that he had enough headaches without me driving him crazy.|
|Skull Session 340: The Rizal thing was a major headache.|
|Indep. 10 Jan. 17: A millenial cash hangover is still causing headaches.|
|(con. 1973) Johnny Porno 142: This my headache [...] I shouldn’t involve you.|
2. (US) one’s husband or wife, boyfriend or girlfriend.
|Great Magoo 25: That little headache of yours with the honky-tonk eyes is trouble — plenty.|
|(con. late 1920s) Little Ham III ii : He never was no headache of mine, baby.|
3. a problematic individual.
|Jimmy Bench-Press 33: I’m wondering they don’t put all the fuckups, the headaches like myself, in O.C. just to keep us quiet.|
(US drugs) a Federal narcotics agent.
|cited by D. Maurer ‘Speech of the Narcotic Und.’ in Amer. Mercury Feb.|
|Traffic In Narcotics 310: headache man. A Federal agent investigating the drug traffic.|
(US black) a stick used as a club, a police baton or truncheon.
|Wkly Ariz Miner 11 jan. 2/1: A spot was found where blood and hair were plenty on the ground, and some headache sticks were found.|
|St Paul Globe (Minn.) 7 Aug. 1/2: The maskinonge fishers carry a chunk of wood instead of a gaff-hook. They call it the headache stick, and when the lunge is alongside, down it comes on his flat skull .|
|Amer. Negro Folk-Songs 361: [reported from Durham, N.C., 1919] I want to century just one more time. / I don’t bother no man but the man with the headache stick.|
|Prison Nurse (1964) 57: You sure swing a mean ‘headache stick,’ don’t you, dep?|
|Jives of Dr. Hepcat (1989) 9: Hold your piechopper, don’t vip another vop or I’ll take my headache stick and massage your top. Up your frame and do about face and lead up on in to this sinful place.|
|Queen of Palmyra 218: It’s a headache stick [...] You don’t want to get in its way, or it’ll give you one bad-assed headache.|